Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Despite horses, Bills can't get O running
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson grinned wearily and shook his head as I mentioned the stat to him.
Fred Jackson and the Bills running backs are averaging 4.8 yards a carry, but Buffalo runs it less than almost any other team.
Jackson was well aware the Bills rank second to last in the NFL with an average of 22 rushing attempts per game. And this week might not be much busier. Only six teams are rushed against less than Sunday's opponent, the Baltimore Ravens.
One of the Bills' few strengths is their backfield wherewithal. The Bills had so much talent, they traded 2007 first-round draft choice Marshawn Lynch to the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago. That left them with 1,000-yard rusher Jackson and C.J. Spiller, the first running back drafted in April.
The dilemma is that the Bills fare really well when they do run. They're averaging 4.8 yards a carry, which ranks fifth in the league.
"When you look at it, we've been successful running the ball," Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "It's a matter of finding carries for [Jackson] and C.J. and keep feeding those guys and letting them go to work. Part of that is being in games and either having the lead or keeping it close. Part of it is just staying on the field."
In addition to being 0-5 and usually playing from behind, the Bills rank dead last in time of possession, averaging barely 25 minutes.
The Bills have rushed 110 times. When we take out attempts from quarterbacks Fitzpatrick (12) and Trent Edwards (five), receiver Roscoe Parrish (one) and punter Brian Moorman (two), Bills running backs are averaging 18 carries a game.
"Once we get down two, three touchdowns, we have to start passing the ball to try and get back in the game," Jackson said. "If we can stay out of those situations, I think we could get more carries.
"I'm hoping that we get more carries. Guys like C.J. and myself want to get the ball as much as possible and help the team win."